SKRONK       

Lawrence University Wind Ensemble - Dr. Andrew Mast.

PROGRAM NOTE
When composing, I often take walks to clear the mind, recharge the batteries, and leave previously worked ideas to the subconscious.  Early on, I spent a lot of time in rural settings, so these walks through forests, pastures, and fields, led to works that had more linear, flowing, and expansive qualities.  Upon moving to Boston, New York,  Philadelphia, Washington DC, and now Los Angeles, the walks became a whole different adventure leading to compositions reflecting these bustling urban environments.  Skronk is one such work that in its development reflects a groove one might need to traverse the colorful and cacophonous streets of our country’s great city landscapes.

Skronk is dedicated to K.C.

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.2.eh.ebcl.3.bcl.2.cbn/2.1.1.1/4.3.3.2.1/timp/5perc/pno/db

DURATION
5 minutes

PREMIERED BY
The Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, Dr. Andrew Mast, conductor, Appleton, Wisconsin.
 

“Through it’s energetic drive, propulsive rhythms and colorful orchestration, Skronk provides the conductor, performer and audience a thrilling ride. Usable as a concert opener, closer, or mid-program palette cleanser, the musical energies of this piece combine to provide a work that is as engaging to perform as it is to listen to.”
— Dr. Andrew Mast - Lawrence University

WHERE RIVERS BEND       

PROGRAM NOTE
The inspiration for the title Where River Bend came from my walks over the years along the Maquoketa River in Iowa. During these walks I would reflect upon past memories mixed with present musings while at the same time keeping an eye out for a good fishing hole.  The winding bends and channels of the ever flowing river reminds one of the winding bends and channels in the ever flowing time of life. As we flow through our lives we can never be too sure what is around the bend, but it’s the journey that counts, and if fortunate a journey sustained by the ever-flowing support of family and community.   

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.2.eh.ebcl.3.bcl.2.cbn/2.1.1.1/4.3.3.2.1/timp/5perc/pno/db

DURATION
15 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The University of Central Missouri Wind Ensmble, Dr. Scott Lubaroff, conductor, Warrensburg, Missouri.

SO SIMPLE for wind ensemble, women's chorus and fixed media     

The University of Central Missouri Wind Ensemble, Dr. Scott Lubaroff, conductor

PROGRAM NOTE
So Simple for wind ensemble and fixed media developed from my years studying sound and how it manifests both vertically and horizontally. Two elements of sound, frequency and periodicity, are distinctly different, yet related quantities. Frequency is a rate quantity. Periodicity is a time quantity. Frequency and periodicity, i.e. pitch and pulse, have a reciprocal relationship. Pitch and pulse are intimately related. Every principle governing the melodic and harmonic implications of pitch can also govern the melodic and harmonic implications of pulse. What is the key?  What is the tempo? Both can be in C.  Do the laws that apply to vertical frequency; harmonic series, ratios, periodicity pitch, combination tones, etc. also apply to horizontal periodicity?  Yes.

One genre of music where this reciprocal relationship is instinctively employed is electronic dance music.   Besides its symphonic quality, electronic dance music with its insistent beat, lends itself well to the creation of horizontal periodicity ratios that harmonize time.  So Simple follows a basic EDM Trans structure: Intro-Motif Entry-Breakdown-Build-Drop-Outro.  All the thematic material is introduced in the Intro and Motif entry sections.  In the Drop section, pitch and pulse are harmonically combined via matching frequency and periodicity ratios.  This creates a three-dimensional harmonic framework, which in turn supports the main thematic material.  The Outro brings all to a close.

All the world’s music cultures begin from the same source; sound.  The language of music is not universal, but the source material is very much so. Studying the physical properties of a singular sound is a valuable key in understanding how the world’s cultures formed their unique approaches to music.  However, in the rush to complexity, most musicians often deem this study too simple.  To quote composer Morton Feldman's comment to John Cage:

 "Now that things are so simple, there is so much to do”.

So Simple is dedicated to Dr. Scott Lubaroff without whom this piece would not exist.

INSTRUMENTAION
2.picc.2.eh.ebcl.3.bcl.2.cbn./1.2.1.1.1/4.3.3.2.2/timp/5perc/pno/db/opt.women's chorus

DURATION
9 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The University of Central Missouri Wind Ensmble, Dr. Scott Lubaroff, conductor, Warrensburg, Missouri.

POEM        

Finalist in the 1999 G. Schirmer Young American's Band Competition

Blaserorchester Sudwind (Germany) - Ronald Johnson. 

PROGRAM NOTE
Poem was written in memory of an extraordinary young man, William P. Selvitelle, Jr.; trumpet player, poet, and actor.  The work reflects seven different episodes in his life.  The episodes have the following subtitles: The Gift, Awakening, Holy Night, Legoland, Ballad, The Coaster, Transcendence. The title comes from Bill’s love of poetry and music.  Two of his poems, Legoland and The Coaster are given musical interpretations.  After talking with his parents, friends, and teachers I was overwhelmed by the impact Bill had on others.  Persevering through obstacles and hardships he lived life to its fullest.  In doing so he inspired others to do the same. Thanks Bill.

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.1.4.bcl.1/2.1.1.1/2.3.3.1.1/timp/5perc/db

DURATION
12 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Marshfield High School Wind Ensemble, Gregory Mayer, conductor, Marshfield, Massachusetts.

Poem is a wonderful piece for high school and college bands.
— Frank Battisti

PROCLAMATION for wind ensemble and antiphonal quintet     

PROGRAM NOTE
Proclamation was written to celebrate Kent Crawford’s 30th anniversary directing bands in the Maquoketa (IA) public schools.  The work was commissioned by members of the Maquoketa High School Band’s 2004 senior class.   

Proclamation is dedicated to Mr. Kent Crawford.

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.1.3.bcl.1/2.1.1.1/4.3.3.1.1/timp/5perc/db/antiphonal choir fl.cl.asax.tpt.trb  

DURATION
8 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Maquoketa High School Wind Ensemble, Maquoketa, Iowa.
 

IN THE HALF LIGHT       

PROGRAM NOTE
The inspiration for this piece comes from a Gregorian chant I sang growing up in a small town in Iowa.  This piece is made up of five sections grouped together in an overall arch form: ABCDEDCBA.  

The primary theme of the A section is taken from the opening phrase of the chant.  This phrase is fully stated in the flute at m.100-101. The melodic material developed from this phrase is made up of falling intervals (thirds and seconds) and their inversions.  The B section is based upon an obscure mode called the Phrygian Major/Minor.  It first appears at m.44 with D as its tonal center.  

The C section is characterized by the oscillation between two chords.  At m.72 the two chords are D major and E-flat minor.  Here a shimmering effect is produced using an acoustical comma, the Great Diesis. This comma, representing a 41 cents difference in pitch, occurs between F-sharp and G-flat.   In the D section, beginning at m.100, the Gregorian chant returns developed into a new theme.  The E section, beginning at m.125, is a four-part chorale in modal counterpoint.  After the climax of the E section the other parts are restated.  However, the restatements are not exact.  The piece concludes with a powerful coda based upon the chant.  

This work explores the inner conflict one experiences in the aftermath of a traumatic event.  The conflict ultimately reveals two choices.  The first leads to reflection and change. The second ignores the event and its consequences.  In the end each of us must decide. 

In the Half Light is dedicated to Malcolm W. Rowell, Jr.

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.2.eh.ebcl.3.bcl.2.cbn/2.1.1.1/4.3.3.1.1/timp/5perc/pno/db

DURATION
14 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
2002 Ballerbach Consortium Commissioning Project – James Syler, organizer

  • California State University at Long Beach, Long Beach, California.  John Carnahan, conductor.
  • Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois.  Richard Fischer, conductor.
  • Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.  Patrick Dunnigan, conductor.
  • Salisbury State University, Salisbury, Maryland.  Richard Johnson, conductor.
  • Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.  John Stansberry, conductor.
  • Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas.  James Worman, conductor.
  • University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee.  Gregg Gausline, conductor.
  • University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas.  Ray Lichtenwalter, conductor.
  • University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Thomas Dvorak, conductor.
  • Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.  Steven Bodner, conductor.
Frantzen’s personal sensitivity was brought to light by the lyrical lines at their moments of greatest precision and beauty.
— Williams College Record

JOHNSON BOYS      

PROGRAM NOTE
For some time I had wanted to create a work using my favorite American folksongs. The opportunity presented itself when Elisabeth Bryant approached me to write a work for wind ensemble. After picking out four folksongs, Bird's Courting Song,  Johnson Boys, A Bachelor's Song, and I Never will Marry, I discovered their connecting theme: courting. Each song contains the same basic plot telling the trials and tribulations of a bumbling person's attempt at courting. After some time I decided to bring these four together creating, a new folksong tone poem, whose story is told through melodies rather than words. 

To tell the story each folksong melody becomes a character.  Johnson Boys is the theme for a bumbling but confident young man setting out to court a young lady. When he bemoans his sorry state and insecurity A Bachelor's Song is heard. The object of his desire, is represented by I Never will Marry.  Bird's Courting Song, heard throughout the piece, plays the role of fate for-telling the inevitable outcome of the story. These melodies are intertwined and developed to form one big folk-song, Johnson Boys. 

Johnson Boys was commissioned by and premiered by the South Shore Conservatory (MA) All Star Band under the direction of Elisabeth Bryant.

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.1.3.bcl.1/2.1.1.1/2.3.3.2.1/timp/4perc/pno/db

DURATION
8 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The South Shore Conservatory All Star Band, Elisabeth Bryant, conductor, Hingham, Massachusetts.

NEW BEGINNING        

PROGRAM NOTE
New Beginning was commissioned to celebrate the opening of a new auditorium at Frontier Regional High School in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  The Frontier Regional High School Wind Ensemble premiered the work under the direction of Karen Atherton.  

New Beginning owes its existence to Ms. Atherton, band director at the school.  In discussing the commission the idea of incorporating the school’s alma mater came into being.  The song, Alma Mater, is paraphrased canonically in the opening wistful section, beginning in the basses.  After a subtle statement in the middle section it is heard once again in the upper-woodwinds and percussion at the end, in counterpoint with an original melody.  The composition on a whole reflects the exhilaration one feels in shedding old ideas, habits, and baggage.  To begin anew is a right, cherished by all…it gives us hope.

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.1.3.bcl.1/2.1.1.1/2.4.3.1.1/timp/4perc/db

DURATION
3 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Frontier Regional High School Wind Ensemble, Karen Atherton, conductor, South Deerfield, Massachusetts.
 

CATALYST in four movements

    1. Momentum
    2. Euphoria
    3. Last Twilight
    4. Catalyst

 

University of Maryland Concert Band - Dr. L. Richmond Sparks.

 

PROGRAM NOTE
Catalyst
in its development loosely reflects the process of encountering and assimilating a new idea, exploring it in four movements: Momentum, Euphoria, Last Twilight, and Catalyst.

Momentum begins with a call, a call for change, a desire to shed old habits and begin anew.  To call takes courage and if answered even more courage is needed to take the first step on a journey leading to new possibilities.  The impetus to move forward builds slowly, but through time and effort, eventually it reaches a point of no return.  The journey begins.

Euphoria reflects those rare moments where one is totally immersed in the unabashed vibrancy of life. This is especially true with the onset of a new journey. The swirling textures and rhythmic interplay of the score reveals a state of being not encumbered by lingering everyday concerns, but instead fully embracing the carefree wonder of living, so common in our youth, where all things are possible.  

When the new journey encounters hardship and something meaningful is lost, be it a beloved family member, a valued friend, or a relationship one often yearns to return to how things were in the past.  Everyday living is clouded with memories of once was mixed with the reality of now. Last Twilight reflects this state of mind where one is caught between both the idealized past and the unyielding present. 

The decision to make a change is not always an easy one.  Often times an unexpected event, no matter how big or small, proves to be the necessary motivation to propel one forward. Catalyst opens with the call for change theme, beginning small, but soon descending to reveal a more robust, elemental nature. With echoes of themes from the previous movements, this theme is transformed and combined with new melodic material. But in the end, it remains true to its original essence. No one knows what will serve as the catalyst for change but when it happens one must be ready to embrace it fully, having the faith and courage to be open to all that is possible.

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.2.ebcl.3.bcl.2.cbn/2.1.1.1/4.4.3.1.1/timp/5perc/pno/db

DURATION
27 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Liverpool High School Symphonic Bands, Liverpool, New York. 

a wonderful piece substantive on many levels, very strong structurally, creatively orchestrated for winds and percussion, sensitively scored for solo performances and chamber like experience within the context of the large ensemble setting.
— Malcom W. Rowell Jr., conductor emeritus, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

MOMENTUM     

Finalist in the Third Frank Ticheli International Composition Competition

University of Maryland Concert Band - Dr. L. Richmond Sparks.

PROGRAM NOTE
Momentum for wind ensemble begins with a call, a call for change, a desire to shed old habits and begin anew.  To call takes courage and if answered even more courage is needed to take the first step on a journey that leads to new possibilities.  The impetus to move forward builds slowly, but through time and effort eventually, it reaches a point of no return.  The journey begins.  

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.2.ebcl.3.bcl.2/2.1.1.1/4.4.3.1.1/timp/4perc/pno/db

DURATION
6 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Liverpool High School Symphonic Bands, Liverpool, New York.

EUPHORIA       

Second-prize winner in the Second Frank Ticheli International Composition Competition

University of Maryland Concert Band - Dr. L. Richmond Sparks.

PROGRAM NOTE
Euphoria in its development reflects those rare moments where one is totally immersed in the unabashed vibrancy of life. The swirling textures and rhythmic interplay of the score reveals a state of being not encumbered by lingering everyday concerns, but instead fully embracing the carefree wonder of living, so common in our youth, where all things are possible.  

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.2.ebcl.3.bcl.2/2.1.1.1/2.3.3.1.1/timp/5perc/pno

DURATION
5 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Liverpool High School Symphonic Bands, Liverpool, New York.

 
 

LAST TWILIGHT       

PROGRAM NOTE
When something meaningful is lost in life, be it a beloved family member, a valued friend, or a relationship one often yearns to return to how things were in the past.  Everyday living is clouded with memories of once was mixed with the reality of now. Last Twilight in its development reflects this state of mind where one is caught between both the idealized past and the unyielding present. 

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.2.ebcl.3.bcl.2.cbn/2.1.1.1/4.3.3.1.1/timp/5perc/db

DURATION
5 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Liverpool High School Symphonic Bands, Liverpool, New York.

CATALYST        

First-prize winner in the 2003 Penfield Commission Project

PROGRAM NOTE
The decision to make a change in one’s life is not always an easy one.  Often times an unexpected event, no matter how big or small, proves to be the necessary motivation to propel one forward. Catalyst’s opening theme begins small but soon descends to reveal a more robust, elemental nature.  As the work develops the theme is transformed and combined with other melodic materials but in the end remains true to its original essence. No one knows what will serve as the catalyst for change but when it happens one must be ready to embrace it fully, having the faith and courage to be open to all that is possible. 

INSTRUMENTATION
2.picc.2.eh.ebcl.3.bcl.2/2.1.1.1/4.3.3.1.1/timp/5perc/pno/db

DURATION
8 minutes

COMMISSIONED BY
The Liverpool High School Symphonic Bands, Liverpool, New York.